• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

New headache for Congress? Rumors about Sachin Pilot’s move before the polls

New headache for Congress?  Rumors about Sachin Pilot’s move before the polls

According to reports, 45-year-old Sachin Pilot may make an announcement on June 11.

Jaipur:

Congress leader Sachin Pilot has repeatedly challenged and warned his party in recent weeks, embarrassing the leadership as it struggles to project unity in Rajasthan. There is intense speculation that he may soon give a significant blow to the Congress by launching his own party in Rajasthan just ahead of the elections in the state.

According to reports, Sachin Pilot, 45, may make an announcement on June 11 – the death anniversary of his father Rajesh Pilot, a Congress leader – although sources close to him say he is waiting to respond to demands from the Congress leadership.

Sources denied that any big rally was planned for June 11. They said, like every year, Dausa is the constituency of Rajesh Pilot to celebrate the death anniversary.

Mr. Pilot gave an ultimatum to his own government to act on corruption charges against BJP’s Bashundhara Raj. The Congress leader alleged that Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his internal rival, did not take any action against Bashundhara Raj because of a deal he had with the BJP leader, a charge the BJP strongly denied.

Amid speculation about his next move, sources close to him say he is waiting for a concrete response from the party leadership. They claim that his main focus is to fight corruption and address pressing concerns of the youth, including exam paper leaks.

“He (Pilot) is waiting for the reaction of the party leadership, the ball is in their court,” news agency PTI quoted sources close to him as saying.

A four-hour meeting between the Congress leadership and Rajasthan rivals Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot last month failed to produce any resolution.

Although the leaders demonstrated unity and promised a “united fight” in the Rajasthan elections, it is clear that bitterness remains. Congress sources say the rift between the two leaders could be irreversible and the relationship could reach a point of no return.

The dispute started in 2018, when the Congress won the Rajasthan elections, and had to choose between two contenders for the top post. The team chose Ashok Gehlot, and Sachin Pilot settled for the role of his assistant. Two years later, however, Mr. Pilot rebelled against his boss, demanding a “fair share” in power.

The revolt stalled as more than 100 MLAs chose to side with Mr Gehlot. At no point did Mr. Pilot manage to garner more than 20 MLAs in his support, making it difficult for the party to pick a side. Mr. Pilot ended his rebellion when the Gandhis assured him of a solution.

Last year, 72 MLAs resigned in protest at the Congress’s move to make Mr Gehlot party president, meaning he is likely to be replaced in Rajasthan by Mr Pilot.

Mr Gehlot, with frequent attacks on his former deputy, has made it clear that he will not back down. The chief minister referred to his younger rival as gaddar (traitor), nikamma (meaningless) and “coronavirus”.

After the recent “unity show”, the Chief Minister even remarked that the Congress high command is “strong” and will not offer any position to appease any leader.

Leaders close to Mr Pilot condemned the comments and said he had taken a “principled position” and was not about the posts.

A state minister close to Mr. Pilot, Murari Lal Meena, denied speculation of a party launch at the event. “I don’t know where the new party speculation started. I don’t see any substance in such speculation. I work following the party’s ideology,” said Mr. Meena, according to PTI.

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